Motorists speeding on Preston Street in Crothersville trying to get to school on time in the morning is cause for concern.
One of them nearly hitting a police officer was an even bigger wake-up call.
“I almost got ran over. A mirror grazed me,” Crothersville Police Chief Brent Turner said of a recent morning when he was standing on the street directing traffic in front of the school.
During a recent Crothersville Town Council meeting, Turner requested the intersection of Howard and Preston streets be changed to a three-way stop.
Currently, the only stop sign is where Howard Street comes to a T with Preston Street across from the main entrance to Crothersville Junior-Senior High School.
Turner would like to see traffic on Preston Street stop, too.
All five council members agreed.
“I don’t have a bit of a problem with that because a lot of kids cross the road there,” council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said.
“If it would save a kid, you better believe it,” Councilman Bob Lyttle said.
“When it comes to safety, I think this is an important issue,” Councilman Chad Wilson said.
The council unanimously approved to have attorney Jeff Lorenzo draft an ordinance to change the intersection to a three-way stop. It takes an ordinance because penalties will be in effect for those who fail to stop at the intersection.
In the morning on school days, a police officer stands on Preston Street to help children safely cross the street to go to school. They wear a black vest over their uniform with the word “police” in reflective yellow on the front and back.
Some mornings, though, it’s still dark outside when kids are coming to school, and the police officers’ dark clothing makes it hard for some people to see them.
Clerk-Treasurer Terry Richey, who also works in the school administration office, said the school used to have an aide holding a flashing sign while kids crossed the street. They were easier to see on those dark mornings.
“I think if our policemen are going to be standing in the street, they need to have a reflective vest,” Robinson said.
Wilson said better street lighting in the area may help, too. That even goes for events happening in the evenings at the school where people park on the street.
“Especially now with basketball season here, there are cars parked on both sides of the street, and you’ve got cars coming,” Wilson said.
Robinson said he recently drove in the area at night to check out the lighting situation. One dark spot he found was heading south on Preston Street past Crothersville Christian Church where the road curves around toward the intersection of Howard and Preston streets.
“It’s very dark, but once you get down there to the curve, it’s not all that bad,” Robinson said.
Robinson asked Turner if the three-way stop would hamper traffic leaving school, especially the buses, but Turner said there is less traffic at that time because the buses take different routes to take students home.
Wilson said the biggest issue is in the morning when some students speed to school because they are running late.
He said he talked to Principal Adam Robinson about the three-way stop, and he was in favor of it, too.